Turns out a visit from a old Southeast Division rival was just what the doctor ordered for the Winnipeg Jets.

After losing six consecutive games on home ice, the Jets used a spirited first period and a warming up power play to earn a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Friday night at MTS Centre.

“Anytime you can get in the game emotionally, it’s something that’s good,” said Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian, who played his first game since suffering a groin injury on Nov. 15.

Jet goalie Ondrej Pavelec make 21 saves to snap a personal five-game losing skid that had some folks who— including myself — wondering if it might be a good idea to start Al Montoya on Friday, just because the Jets’ seemed to be playing better in front of their backup lately.

After a Dustin Byfuglien turnover led to a goal by Panthers forward Shawn Matthias at 7:45 of the first period, Pavelec wasn’t beaten again until 5:55 of the second when Nick Bjugstad took advantage of an errant pass by Evander Kane.

Pavelec took care of things from there and helped alleviate talk of a potential goalie controversy, for at least a few more days.

“You need every win. It’s the same for me, winning is a good feeling,” said Pavelec. “But we need way more than this win. We have to keep going.”

As for Kane, his miscue can be forgiven, thanks to an inspired performance by the left-winger that included a goal (his ninth of the season) and an assist to go along with six hits.

Kane was engaged from the first shift of this one, throwing his body around like a battering ram.

He also got after Panthers forward Scottie Upshall on several occasions, challenging his counterpart to drop the gloves.

Upshall did not accept the challenge.

“If you ask a guy to go 15 times a game, you’d think he’d drop his gloves once in a while, but I guess not. His stayed on but mine came off,” said Kane, who was then asked if there was some history between the two players. “He had a bit of an ugly hit in Atlanta and he’s never wanted to answer the bell.”

The newly-formed unit of Kane, rookie centre Mark Scheifele and Michael Frolik had another strong showing, combining for two goals and six points in the contest.